Many people know that a CD-R can be used to burn a custom audio CD playlist of their favorite songs, and that a DVD-R can be used to create a playable DVD video disc of their home video. But there are a lot of other uses of this extremely affordable media. For instance, many companies that have printed large catalogs or annual reports every year are now starting to “go green”, save the paper/ink as well as the printing costs, and burn a searchable PDF onto CD-Rs to distribute the same content to their audience. Other uses for CD-Rs include internal archiving of client documents and projects, or burning custom X-Rays onto CD-Rs for patients in the medical field. DVD-Rs can be used for archiving as well; and not just for video! For example, in the software development industry, many companies use DVD-R media to catalog the different releases of their software. Whatever the intended use, there is a particular media solution that can be utilized. CD-Rs and DVD-Rs can be ink-jet printed as well for custom labeling, or ordered silver for professional silk screening… Great for bands, companies, medical facilities, etc. There are many uses for CD-Rs and DVD-Rs across multiple industries, and so it is great to have a single reliable source, especially right here in the Los Angeles County and Orange County area like gotmedia.com to be able to get the various types of media available right away.
So, times are tough. The economy is still recovering, and despite the tumultuous financial climate globally as well as locally, the silver lining is that people are being more creative about business. In a time when jobs are scarce, many start their own. One tangible way to earn money from a small business you own and operate is to start a CD duplication business.
Why CD Duplication?
Though it may seem like a very specific, esoteric path, that actually will lend to its strength. How many CD duplication businesses do you know of in your town? CD duplication often occurs at the high business level, in corporate offices, in music studios and in already established professional settings. Starting a small CD duplication business could be just the thing your community needs. Because CD duplication requires certain machinery and technical knowledge, not every small business or artist will own the proper equipment or have the means to purchase it themselves. Knowing that you have a market to provide a unique service can ensure a journey toward success.
Who Will Buy?
When you think of who may need a large quantity of personalized CDs, the first demographic that comes to mind is musical artists and bands, especially bands that have just started and don’t yet have a record label. In today’s music landscape, self-producing is ever more common and necessary. A band may take on the full responsibility of creating and marketing themselves. In this case, this is your primary audience. A start up band will need to create many CDs to sell to their fans, and this is where you come in. Being able to produce, as well as help organize packaging, can be profitable with local musicians.
Your other target demographic will be small businesses who want to create employee-training materials or back up data to disc, but who can’t justify purchasing their own duplication equipment.
How To Start
It’s easy. Creating a business plan and identifying your demographic, your start up capital and your expected returns will be the first step. Then, invest in CD duplication equipment. Learn how to use it. And finally, market yourself to the public. This can include posting ads on Craigslist, on social media sites and blogs. You may wish to make a website for your business. Set reasonable yet lucrative prices, and gather a team (possibly) to help churn out product. This may be a part time side job or, if successful, it could turn into a full-time business.
Talk to people before, and during, your start up process. Gauge interest in your local music and small business community. Be friendly and helpful. Stay organized and on task. Most of all, market yourself as much as possible, because if your customers can’t find you, they can’t buy from you.
It’s finally summer and the world is alive with sun – a perfect opportunity for taking some fantastic photos in great light. Oh, and May is National Photography Month? How perfect! If you’re planning on taking some high quality photos this summer, you’ll need a printer to match your style.
Though we’re living in the days of Instragram and camera phones, the real photography connoisseur will still be looking for ways to capture and print the most striking visual images. Look no further than the Epson line of color printers.
Particularly, the The EPSON Stylus Photo R2000 is a match made in heaven for the artist’s eye. It’s a PCMag.com Editor’s Choice winner and is designed to turn any photo into an expert print. This special printer uses Ultra-Chrome Hi-Gloss 2 printer ink to make colors pop, and it is compatible with many different paper types, allowing the freedom to choose your own medium. It will print on cut sheet and roll paper, fine art media, canvas, art boards and even CDs and DVDs.
The eight-color ink set utilizes a high gloss finish to make any photo look vibrant and smooth, and AccuPhoto HG screening technology ensures uniformly high print quality on any paper surface. This is truly an artist’s printer, as it features built-in pigment-based inks, superior media handling and a large paper capacity. It’s also accessible, connecting to EtherNet, Wireless or USB 2.0.
Tips For Printing:
- Get familiar with settings: Because this printer can accommodate various printing mediums, make sure you’ll be choosing the correct setting. If you’re printing on canvas, make sure to let the printer know.
- Print on canvas! An amazing feature of this printer is that you can actually print on canvas, and if you choose to use the Exhibition Canvas Matte feature, you can turn your summer photos into beautiful, professional-level works of art.
- Let them dry: This printer uses high-quality professional ink, so it prints out photos that could have just come from the dark room. For this reason, you’ll be best off letting these puppies dry for about 24 hours before showcasing them in your home art gallery.
If you’re looking for a fun way to spice up your summer and bring some art into your life, just grab a camera, put on your artist hat and print out your favorite memories in glossy high-definition prints with Epson’s innovative Stylus Photo R2000. Retailed at around $499.99, this could be a great addition to your studio and an investment that will keep you in the artist’s seat for years to come.
Everyone in the business world is probably aware of the importance of networking. “Hi, nice to meet you, here’s what I do, and here’s my business card,” is a standard series of statements offered up at company parties, mingling events, conferences and meetings. If you find common ground with someone and want to keep in contact for further opportunities, how will they remember your name and message if not with a business card?
But how many times have you returned home from a day-long conference with a stack of paper cards, most of which you’ll just shove in a drawer somewhere? If you want your skill set and talents to stand out, consider doing something different. Whether you’re a graphic designer, owner of a small business, musician, writer, engineer, entrepreneur, party planner or freelance anything, you’ve probably got a wide skill set that can’t be captured in a tiny 3 by 5 notecard. In today’s competitive world, business card CDs might be one of those things that set you apart from the rest.
Here are a few reasons why CD business cards may be an investment to consider:
- You can include your resume on the CD, giving your target audience a quick overview of your experience so they can assess whether your experience might be valuable to them. Similarly, you can include information about your company in any number of formats.
- You can include a carefully chosen portfolio of some of your best work in various forms of media so they can easily assess your talents, whether it’s video, photo, text or data analysis.
- If you’d prefer, you can dazzle the viewer with a short (5-10 minute) PowerPoint presentation of your experience, skill set and strengths. This can include pictures, videos, excerpts, etc. With a CD, you have the opportunity to use different forms of media to your advantage to surprise and impress.
- You can include hyperlinks to your presence on the web, including websites or social media accounts that may not have fit on a single paper card. Your target audience should have no problem finding you online.
- The CD label can be customized just like a business card, and should be simple and eye-catching with just a few pieces of important information, like your name, company and occupation, as well as a short description of the content of the CD, like “resume and portfolio” or “video presentation.”
- Handing over a CD rather than a paper card full of a clever use of technology will be sure to impress prospective employers or clients and ensure them you’re no Neanderthal. It’s a symbol of your advanced understanding of the way technology is shaping business, and the world.
- You can play off one of humanity’s fundamental attributes: curiosity. Unless you made a really bad impression in person, like showing up unwashed or insulting your audience, handing over a CD is like giving them a little locked treasure chest that they will probably be curious enough to open, if even just to see what’s on it. It’s like handing them a mystery they can easily solve with a computer and a disc drive. And they probably will.
There are a number of websites that specialize in CD business card duplication, as well as specialized CDs (mini, oblong or even rectangular CDs that mimic the look of actual business cards) that are made specifically for this purpose. You can also simply invest in CD duplication equipment yourself and customize them to your liking. Primera, for example, has a line of CD duplicators, as well as a line of mini business card CDs. Don’t forget to include a professional label and a CD cover to protect the data.
It’s the season for spreading good cheer and reconnecting with distant friends or relatives who are undoubtedly leading their own busy lives, as you are. December is the unanimously agreed upon month for taking a little extra time for remembering those people in your life who you value, but don’t get to see nearly enough.
The simplest and easiest way to send a little warmth is through the mail with a holiday card, and the most cherished ones are those that are sealed with a little personalization. There are a few options for making your own holiday cards. You can visit websites that offer the service for a minimal charge, give them a nice photo, choose a design, and have them print and send them for you. For the on-the-go person, this might be the best way to go, especially if you plan on sending a lot of cards to a lot of places.
But if you’ve got a little extra time on your hands, a little bit of tech-savviness and a good printer, it’s simple and easy to just make your holiday cards at home. This is a great way not only to save money and insert that extra personal touch, but it’s also a great wintry activity that you can do with your family. With a little creativity, a few good photos and a little time in the evenings, making holiday cards doesn’t have to be a chore. In front of a fire with a hot cup of tea, it can be a pleasant craft.
Here’s what you’ll need to consider for the holiday card making craft:
• How many people are you making for? Making a list is a good way to start.
• Are you going to duplicate one design or personalize each one? This is helpful for determining how much time will go into the project.
• Does your printer have full black and color ink?
• Do you have the paper you’ll want to use?
• Do you have cardmaking software or are you going to use a program like Word?
• How big will the card be?
• Do you have envelopes that will fit them, or can you make them?
What you’ll need:
1. Preferably an Inkjet printer. Epson carries a few top-of-the-line color Inkjet printers that print fast, high quality materials. This is where the card will either make it or break it, because using a low-quality printer or paper may just make it look like a kid’s art project. Using crisp, clean printer technology will result in professional-looking holiday cards.
2. Black and color ink cartridges.
3. High quality paper in bulk, like photo paper, glossy paper or card stock.
4. Photos or artwork on the computer.
1. Find photos either of your family, you or you and the recipient.
2. Using Photoshop, Word, cardmaking software or pre-made designs, craft a cover design. This can be as simple as a photo with a fun border or clip art arranged in an appealing way, or as complex as inserting multiple photos in a clever design, like encircling three photos in Christmas tree ornaments. This is where creativity and a little tech know-how can allow you to really make something special.
3. Determine which way the cover will go. The easiest way to print is probably by folding a regular 8 ½” by 11” paper down the middle, hamburger style, so that you print the picture in the bottom half of the white space in vertical orientation, then just fold it over. To print a message inside the card, just flip the paper around upside down and repeat.
4. Write a personal message inside the card, and sign.
5. Either create your own envelopes with programs on Microsoft Word, or buy custom envelopes to fit your cards.
6. Address and send!
For those on a budget this holiday season, finding gifts for all your loved ones can start looking like a huge pile of money flying out the window of a car as it speeds down the highway at 80 mph. Fortunately, it’s possible to save dough and still give thoughtful, impressive gifts. And the best part? You can make them at home with the right materials.
1. The Classic CD Mixtape:
Everyone’s familiar with the classic romantic mixtape, which used to be recorded on tapes and given out shyly to any romantic interest. Well, tapes are obsolete, and I’m not so sure any romantic partner would too impressed with receiving old technology – but the idea is still a good one. Giving someone close to you (not necessarily a romantic interest) a CD of hand-chosen songs can be extremely meaningful. Introducing someone to new music, maybe some of your favorites or some you think the receiver will especially enjoy, can be one of the best gifts. It conveys an understanding of the receiver’s tastes, and music can be one of the best conduits of feeling. Making Mom or Dad a CD of their favorites mixed with some of yours can be a great way to bond.
Personalized Disc Labeling
However, rather than just handing over a blank disc with some Sharpie scribbles, make it a real gift with professional disc labeling. For example, Lightscribe disc labeling is a cost-effective and high-quality way to make a plain disc stand out (and you can use it for many different recipients). Using a Lightscribe disc labeler and Lightscribe discs, which are coated with a reactive dye that changes colors when combined with the laser light, creates beautiful discs that look store-bought, but are personalized with the flair you give it. You can add pictures, titles, lists or even transfer real photographs.
Personalized CD Sleeve
Finally, creating a personalized sleeve to go in a CD case can really seal the deal. This is where you can write a personal message, add a photo or insert lyrics. If you go the mixtape route, go the extra mile with professional disc labeling and a personalized message in the sleever; this really make the recipient smile.
2. Handpicked Photo(s) in Frame:
Most people are going to cherish fond memories more than an expensive toy, especially if they know you’re on a budget, so giving the recipient a picture of you and him/her in a handmade or simple frame can be a great way to go. As they say, a picture’s worth a thousand words, so it’s best to make sure that the picture you choose is going to recall a fond time or memory. In order to really wow them, print the picture on high quality photo paper, preferably on an inkjet printer, in order to really make a clean, crisp shot stand out.
For the frame, any simple wooden frame will do to make a personalized mark. A raw wooden frame (before paint or lacquer) can be a great canvas for even the most modest artist. Using oil-based paints, a simple pen or even colorful Sharpies or markers can bring the frame to life. Or if you want to avoid the chance of shaky hands all together, you can use a handy labelmaker, like the one Epson just put out recently, that offers a plethora of colored paper, colored ink, fonts, sizes and pictures. Printing a message or a favorite quote related to the picture can be a simple way to astound them. It looks great, and it’s something they can display proudly in their home.
3. Photo album on disc:
For those people on your list with stray photos lying around who always say things like, “I’ll get to making that photo album one of these days,” a DVD or CD full of their favorite family or vacation photos can be just the thing they need to spark that flame of memory. Choosing a selection of the best photos from different special events is a great way to organize the pictures for them all in one disc. You can also use a slide show program of your choice if you’d like to offer them a nice way to display the photos from their TV or computer screen.
Like the CD mixtape, using disc labeling technology can really turn this gift from cute into a keeper. Inscribing a personal message means a lot more to most people than anything store-bought. Similarly, enclosing the disc in a case with a personalized CD sleeve can have the same “wow” effect.
Never underestimate the power of a little thought and effort. Especially because these gifts combine professional appearance with a tailor-made approach to rekindling the recipient’s memories, thoughts and feelings, they’re sure to be a hit. With the right creativity, materials and knowledge, a “budgeted” gift can actually be much more meaningful than anything you can find in stores. The stores don’t know your recipient – you do, and they’ll appreciate your showing it.
This one’s a no-brainer: a good presentation is key to success.
First impressions may not be the absolute be-all, end-all, but a first impression lasts, and a bad one certainly stinks. No interviewer in his or her right mind is going to hire the sloppy Joe with grease stains covering his slacks, that is, unless he happens to have a genius IQ or just invented a time machine. But even if he fits both of those criteria, he may not even get the chance to make his case since he might be dismissed based on an unprofessional appearance. Initial judgments may not always be correct, but few busy people have time to waste looking at something that seems like it was thrown together at the last minute. Professional folders, packages, resumes and portfolios all endure a higher likelihood of survival on the cutting block when presented neatly, thoughtfully and professionally.
When presenting a CD or DVD (which may contain anything from a resume to statistical data to music and videos) to a high-level executive, a job interviewer, potential clients or even possible fans, it is vital to spend a little extra time and money on its appearance. Once the CD changes hands, its first task is to entice the receiver to open it and give it her full attention.
Nothing labeled in Sharpie is going to impress anyone. There are many options for professional disc labeling, such as using specialized software, specialized disc labelers or contracting professionals to mass-produce a design of your choice. Because the options for customizing are many, it is important to keep in mind a few things when designing a professional CD label:
• Be succinct and descriptive – CDs have limited space, so the title should be clear and explicitly about the topic at hand, i.e. the company’s name and project, artist’s name and album, etc.
• Use enticing language – If, after including the name and title, there is a good amount of space leftover on the CD, consider including a snappy tagline, quote or list of items that might arouse interest in the receiver
• Use easy to read fonts – Don’t make your audience work hard to uncover the secrets of the CD, especially if you are trying to sell something or persuade someone to open the files. Also, make it easy to read so that later on down the road, the receiver doesn’t forget the relevance of the file and toss it out
• Use high-quality pictures – If customizing the CD with artwork, make the sure the picture chosen is not pixilated, blurry or otherwise indistinguishable. Keep it simple. Doing a sloppy job with artwork may even be worse than not using any at all. That being said, appropriate, original and topical artwork may be the very thing to grab your receiver’s attention
If using any sort of disc publishing software or online publisher, make sure to test the design before printing hundreds of copies. There are many templates online, or included in purchased software, that can assist in the design process.
Also, including a disc sleeve or sturdy case is highly recommended. Don’t let your CD flop about!
With these simple tips in mind, your professional CD or DVD is sure to be a hit, and at least impress the receiver enough to slide it into their computer. Keeping their attention after that is up to you.
There are two options for printing text and designs on CD-R or DVD-R media – inkjet printing and thermal printing. These two processes have different methods of transferring ink onto the surface of discs, so they use different types of materials that work with either inkjet printable or thermal printable blank media.
CD/DVD inkjet printers spray tiny dots onto specially designed “inkjet printable” CDs which have a surface that is specifically created to absorb this ink. These dots are smaller than the diameter of a human hair, and can combine from basic ink dyes to form the whole color spectrum. The process of printing on inkjet CDs and DVDs is just like a standard paper inkjet printer, only you’re printing on the disc surface instead of paper.
Primera and Microboards have consumer and commercial grade CD/DVD inkjet printers that can produce results varying from printing basic text to photo quality images and range in price from a few hundred to several thousand dollars for automated systems. With a quality color inkjet printer prints can be of extremely high quality, up to 4800 dpi. In other words, you can essentially print a photograph on an inkjet-printable CD or DVD with the correct printer settings and an appropriately detailed design.
However, because of the nature of ink and the variable quality of CD-R and DVD-R printing surfaces, the images on inkjet-printed discs will fade over time. For instance, you would not print a commercial barcode with an inkjet printer and expect it to be permanently useable for 10 years or the life of a CD. Inkjet ink is also susceptible to weather, dampness, heat, and light over time.
Thermal printing is more often associated with professional duplication and design work. A CD or DVD that you purchase from a store as a movie or music album has been silk-screen printed. The printed surface is permanent, the surface can be shiny, the edges of the colors are sharp, the text is crisp, and there can be the feel of raised ink. Thermal printing has similar characteristics to silk-screened printing. Thermal printers produce a permanent image; they use heat and pressure to transfer print materials to the disc surface rather than spraying ink. Single, dual and multi-color ribbons are used during this transfer process for full-color output. Results from thermal printing are very durable and resistant to weather and wear, but the print resolutions can be less detailed than inkjet printing, topping out at about 300 x 600 dpi.
As far as cost goes, the initial investment in an inkjet printer is less than a thermal one. Both types of printers are designed to run in a production environment where discs are being created every day. Thermal printers are typically more durable and suited for the production environment that requires high-quality permanent color printing. Beyond this, full-color prints cost about the same for both. Blank printable media for inkjet or thermal printing are also very close in price.
If you are a consumer, recording onto a CD-R or DVD-R is a great way to make sure that all of your important files, documents, pictures, and music are safe in case something happens to your computer. You probably have at least a dozen discs lying around that could contain anything from tax return files to music to holiday pictures to back-up files from old computers. The only way that you can figure out what is on each of those discs is to go through them manually and look at the contents. When you have many of these unlabeled discs, you will find that this quickly becomes a tedious and time-consuming process, and something that you are likely to abandon before too long.
One of the best ways to get around this is to label the discs as soon as you burn a disc. Rather than using a marker, as so many people do, you can instead use inkjet printable media.
Inkjet printers that print directly on a CD, DVD or Blu-ray are the ideal way to provide a professional, exciting and organized look to your burned CD-R, DVD-R and Blu-ray media.
What do you need to print directly onto the disc? You will need to have a printer that is capable of handling a CD-R or DVD-R. You will find a number of printers on the market that can print on this media. You will also need some software that will allow you to add text, graphics, photos, and anything else that you want to print onto the media. Next, you need to buy some high quality inkjet printable media
You simply write the files to the disc, use the software to create the information you want displayed on the disc and then print and let it dry.
Your inkjet printer should come with basic software that will allow you to set-up the image that will be printed on the surface of the disc. Anything you can print on paper can also be printed on a CD, DVD or Blu-ray disc using inkjet printable media. Inkjet printers have amazing quality and detail with high print resolutions. Most inkjet printers sold today offer the feature to print onto a CD-R or DVD-R disc.
You will need to use an inkjet CD-R or inkjet DVD-R which has a special surface that will allow you to print onto the surface of the CD, DVD or Blu-ray disc. Just like with paper, there are different features to inkjet printable media.
Some media has a standard matte surface that is white and used for general all-purpose printing of color photos, text, colored backgrounds or any combination of these.
There is also inkjet printable media that is glossy to give the look of a glossy photo paper.
Furthermore inkjet printable media technology has advanced and now there is a waterproof inkjet printable surface that is available for CD-R and DVD-R. It comes in 2 different color surfaces, white and silver. White is the most popular because images look similar to being printed on a white piece of paper. Silver is used for special applications that require a different look. A silver inkjet printable disc will produce a metallic look, the colors become iridescent. Most recognized brand of waterproof inkjet media is Taiyo Yuden.
In the professional CD and DVD duplication industry one of the downsides of inkjet printing was the fact that it smudged if touched during the dry time, also it would smeared if it came in contact with a liquid even after it was dry. In 2008, we have seen the introduction of waterproof inkjet media surfaces by Taiyo Yuden, Verbatim and Imation. Waterproof inkjet media allows consumers and professionals alike to label CDs and DVDs with the ease and flexibility of using an inkjet printer combined with the advantages of a permanent waterproof surface. When you print on a waterproof inkjet CD-R or DVD-R, you not only get a glossy finished look (which provides better color contrast), but you also get more protection against moisture, smudging and damage from the elements.
When might you want to work with waterproof media? Here are some situations:
• You’re archiving data for your company and storing it in a basement that has a history of flooding.
• You’re burning a bunch of audio CDs to take on a wilderness trip, during which you might be exposed to harsh elemental conditions.
• You’re compiling a presentation for a “give away” at a sales conference, and you anticipate that the people who will be receiving your demos will treat them roughly, so you want to prevent your labeling from rubbing off. (if your contact information rubs off the disc, an interested buyer might not be able to find you).
The Taiyo Yuden Company makes waterproof inkjet printable DVD-R and CD-R named Watershield. Taiyo Yuden Watershield DVD-R is offered in a 16x record speed and the CD-R is a 52x. Both CD-R and DVD-R Watershield discs are hub printable allowing inkjet printing on a larger part of the disc surface (closer to the center hole of the disc). These discs are great for color inkjet printers. The Watershield coating dries rapidly and resists both water and smudging.
Another waterproof inkjet product is the AquaAce Water Resistant DVD-R manufactured by Verbatim. This disc will provide exceptional color contrast, edge to edge printing, compatibility with a wide variety of printers, a lifetime warranty, and very rapid dry times.